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Darcy Gaechter - First woman to kayak the Amazon River, 4,300 miles from the source to the sea!

Michelle Griffith-Robinson - Former GB Olympian, wife, mother of 3, lifestyle coach, personal trainer and Ambassador for Diabetes UK

Darcy Gaechter is the first and only woman to kayak the Amazon River from source to sea. She has been whitewater kayaking for twenty-one years and, for the past fifteen years, she has been considered one of the world’s best female kayakers and one of the most accomplished expedition kayakers. Darcy has won whitewater kayaking races throughout the world, and has participated in and led kayaking expeditions in eighteen different countries. In addition, she has been a kayak, raft and adventure travel guide for two decades and has owned and operated two kayak guiding businesses. She currently spends half the year in Ecuador running Small World Adventures and showing kayakers down some of her favourite rivers in the world. Darcy has long been a groundbreaker of women pushing the limits in both kayaking and other outdoor pursuits. Leading by example of what women can accomplish in a predominately male sport, she has inspired other women athletes to push themselves to achieve extraordinary things. New episodes of the Tough Girl Podcast go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time! Make sure you subscribe so you don’t miss out! The tough girl podcast is sponsorship and ad free thanks to the monthly financial support of patrons. To find out more about supporting your favourite podcast and becoming a patron please check out


Listen to Darcy Now!

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Show notes

  • Who is Darcy

  • What life was like growing up

  • Growing up in the mountains and spending time outdoors

  • Wanting to follow in her dad’s footsteps

  • Changing the direction of her life

  • Going to Nepal at 19 years old

  • Exploring parts that other tourists don’t get to see

  • Wanting to get better at kayaking

  • Figuring out the combat role

  • Deciding to go kayaking in Ecuador

  • Saying yes to opportunity

  • Meeting the people that would change her life

  • Female role models in kayaking

  • Saying yes to a job in Ecuador

  • How the idea came about to kayak the Amazon River

  • Stats - 4,300 miles done over 148 days

  • Having the adventure fully funded

  • Figuring out the logistics for this challenge

  • Dealing with naysayers

  • Balancing the risks

  • Getting mad and getting determined

  • Being the only woman on the team

  • Cutting off all her hair

  • Magical moments - Day 135

  • What a typical day was like out on the river

  • Dealing with sand flies

  • Paddling for 8 - 10 hours per day

  • The perfect last adventure

  • When will they settle down?

  • Getting to the end point and what it was like

  • Coming up with new goals

  • The book of legends in Siberia

  • The motivation for writing the book

  • To film or not to film

  • What happened after the adventure

  • Final words of advice


Social Media

Small World Adventures



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